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Dull End to the Week
Fri, 26 Aug Closing

After trading flat during the noon session, Indian equity markets witnessed some selling pressure and finished just below the dotted line amid mixed global markets. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex stood lower by 54 points, while the NSE Nifty finished down by 20 points. Meanwhile, the S&P BSE Mid Cap finished up by 0.2%, while the S&P BSE Small Cap finished down by 0.1%. Losses were largely seen in IT & capital goods stocks.

Asian markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Hang Seng gained 0.41% and the Shanghai Composite rose 0.06%. The Nikkei 225 lost 1.18%. European markets are trading mixed. The FTSE 100 is higher by 0.04%, while the DAX & the CAC 40 are down 0.14% and 0.08% respectively.

The rupee was trading at 67.03 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 47.16 at the time of writing.

Shares of Coal India Ltd (CIL) finished on an optimistic note (up 0.3%) after it was reported that the company will invest Rs 77.65 billion as capital expenditure in 2016-17. In addition, an ad-hoc provision of Rs 20 million has been kept for its overseas activities.

Further, the company has also planned to invest Rs 50.69 billion in various other projects like railway infrastructure, super critical thermal power plant (STPP), solar power, revival of fertilizer plants, procurement of railway wagons and CBM (coal bed methane) during 2016-17.

The company plans to produce 908.1 million tonnes (mt) by 2019-20 with a CAGR of 13% with respect to 2014-15. During 2016-17, the coal production target has been pegged at 598.61 mt with an annualized growth of about 11.6%. In 2017-18, coal production is expected to be 660.7 mt with a growth of about 10.5%.

Meanwhile, CIL expects the contribution of its wage cost to its total cost of production to drop from 53% at present to around 30% over the next 6-7 years as a large chunk of its workforce would retire.

To meet the ambitious target of 1 billion tonnes production in the next four years, the company has to increase production in its existing mines, open new mines and have to "definitely" go for mechanized mining. Around 94-96% of open cast mining is done mechanically at present. To boost production, CIL depends on open cast mining. However, the process requires uprooting of trees and dislocating people.

In addition, the company has also received clearance from the environment ministry to expand its underground mining project at Jhanjra in West Bengal.

After much deliberation and delay, the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 had been recently revised and Rajya Sabha approved the amended Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation (MMDR) Bill, 2016. In a recent edition of The 5 Minute WrapUp Premium, we looked at the impact of the Act on various mining and metal companies (Subscription Required).

Moving on to news from the banking sector. According to an article in The Economic Times, Bank of Baroda's (BoB) loan portfolio and deposit base shrunk by nearly Rs 900 billion in 2015-16 despite a robust GDP growth of 7.6% during the fiscal.

The total business, mix of deposits and advances, came down by staggering Rs 878.17 billion in the period under review as against the previous fiscal, as per the reports.

While the banking industry saw a loan growth of 9.3%, and 8.6% for deposits during the fiscal, Bank of Baroda's credit growth rate slowed 10.3% and that of deposits decelerated 7%. As far as nationalized banks are concerned, their credit grew 1.4% and deposits 3.1% in 2015-16.

Even during the June quarter of 2016-17, BoB posted a 60% plunge in net profit at Rs 4.24 billion on account of a surge in bad loans. The spike in bad loans meant the gross NPA ratio rose to 11.15% from 4.13% a year ago and 9.99% in the March quarter. Net NPAs more than doubled to 5.73% at the end of June from 2.07% a year earlier.

Bank of Baroda has reportedly launched Project Navoday, aimed at improving the bank's business strategy, products and services, processes, digitization and capabilities of its work force. Bank of Baroda finished the day on a negative note (down 2.1%) on the BSE.

In December, the Reserve Bank of India conducted an asset quality review across the banking sector, following which the banks were asked to recognize visibly-stressed assets as non-performing assets. RBI also asked banks to make adequate provisions for stressed assets. This has hit the profitability of some banks.

PSU banks languished in the red today with IDBI Bank and Oriental Bank of Commerce leading the losses.

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